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Our foster parents come from all different walks of life and each brings with them a diverse range of skills, knowledge and life experiences.

There are several minimum fostering UK requirements to become a foster parent, including;

  • You must be over 21 years old
  • You must have a spare room that has enough space to fit a single bed, wardrobe or chest of drawers.
  • You must have a legal right to work in the UK

It’s also important that you’re able to work as part of a team, be resilient and above all, have a strong commitment to changing the life of a child in care.

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Other things to consider

Health and Wellbeing

Whether you’re in good enough health to meet the needs of children and young people in your care. Underlying mental and physical health conditions won’t automatically rule you out, we’ll just need to check that you’re managing effectively and that the demands of fostering won’t be detrimental to your health.

Financial stability

One thing all our foster parents have in common is that, while they don’t go into fostering because of the money, they need to know they’re going to have financial stability.

Checking that you’ll be financially stable during short periods where you may not be caring for a child and therefore not receiving an income from fostering. While we receive hundreds of referrals every day, it’s important that we match the right family with the right child, which can sometimes take a little time.

It’s impossible to say precisely which benefits you will receive as every foster carer’s situation is unique. However, here are some helpful things to know:

  • Qualifying Care Relief means your fostering allowance won’t affect your entitlement to most state benefit payments.
  • Fostering allowance will not affect Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If you claim Carer’s Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for your own child, it will not affect these either. You can learn more about these benefits at GOV.UK.
  • Because fostering counts as self-employment, you could be entitled to Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit if you have children of your own.
  • The only exception is Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), which will be affected if you are receiving fostering allowance.

Checking you have the time to meet the needs of a child in care, including school runs, meetings and training, and how this may fit in with other family and work commitments.

Support Network

Looking at your wider support network making sure that your immediate family and friends are on board and supportive of your decision to foster.


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